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Law Takes Effect Raising Ohio's Minimum Marriage Age To 18

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A new state marriage law prohibiting children under the age of 17 from marrying in Ohio took effect Monday.

The Dayton Daily News reports the new law raises the minimum marriage age to 18 for both parties, but allows 17-year-olds to marry if they meet certain requirements.

They must have juvenile court consent and go through a 14-day waiting period. The law also says the age difference between the parties cannot be more than four years.

The measure passed the General Assembly with bipartisan support and was signed into law by former Gov. John Kasich on January 8, shortly before he left office.

Previous state law allowed females to marry at 16 and males to marry at 18. But it also allowed Ohioans younger than those ages to marry if they had judicial and parental consent.

The nonprofit Tahirih Justice Center released a report estimating that from 2000-2015, over 200,000 children – mostly girls– were married in the United States. At the time of the report, 25 states didn’t set any minimum age for marriage.